Thursday, August 27, 2015

Infinite Collection Cards Vol.2 Mini Haul from eBay

I couldn't help but start buying on eBay to complete my Infinite Collection Cards Vol.2 set. I really like buying from the eBay seller tobewithkpopbuyer; I bought from this seller three times (once for my most favorite photocard, New Challenge's Myungsoo, another time for Paradise's Sungyeol) and both times my merchandise was really well packaged to guarantee its safety. This seller's items are usually bidding style, starting as low as $0.99USD, and they were always free shipping. Because this seller sells the same photocards every few weeks, I was able to wait a few rounds until finally I won the Sungyeol photocard for under $5. Now onto my latest purchase~
I really didn't want to get into bidding on eBay again because it's really addicting, but I wanted to get the Sungyeol rare solar system card (#002) for my friend. So I bid it and won at $6.50, which in my opinion is too much. I think a rare card should be at most $4 because if I were to buy another box just for rares, each rare would've cost me $4 (as a box with shipping is roughly $40).
And somehow I ended up bidding and winning the Sunggyu standee at $9.02. I honestly wanted the Woohyun and Hoya standee and my thinking was if I have Sunggyu and Sungyeol, eventually someone will want to trade with me. I'll probably just end up trying to collect all seven in the end.

I was really happy about the packaging of these items! I know how difficult it is shipping out standees, but this seller knows how to package these goods well. First the envelope was made of plastic so it was waterproof, and the seller added a "DON'T BEND (PHOTO)" sticker on the top. It was tightly wrapped around the goods inside.
Inside, the Sunggyu standee was on one side and the Sungyeol card was on another side of a thick piece of card stock, then tightly wounded together with saran wrap.
Then it was placed inside a really snug bubblewrap envelope before being placed in the plastic envelope.
The seller also gave an unofficial Exo photocard as a gift. With my lack of knowledge in Exo items, I thought it was an official photocard at first. But then I compared it with my own Exo photocard (I don't want to talk about why I have this photocard...), and they are different.
The only damage was to the back of Sunggyu's head, where the tip got a bit squished. But this is understandable, as my Sungyeol standee came like that inside the tin box.

I'm so happy with the packaging, that I definitely wouldn't mind ordering from this seller again. Bidding is so addicting though (and I always bid more than I originally say I would), so hopefully I can hold off from eBay for a bit.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Infinite "Lucky Guys" Official Collection Cards Vol.1 [New Box]

Now that it's been almost two years since the release of Infinite's Lucky Guys Vol.1 collection cards and Woollim recently released Vol.2, I decided to buy another set of Vol.1 at a cheaper price. I found a new one on eBay for $29.98 including shipping, sold by Korean based seller grapemusiccd. They've since raised the price by $5, so I'm glad I bought it when I did. Originally Vol.1 was selling for about $32 before shipping. I did a review of Vol.1 (it was one of my earlier posts so it's not that great) here, the Vol.1 binder here, and bought two separate packs here. I'll just show the cards I got from this set instead of doing a full-on review. I decided to make the photos bigger since the cards are so small, so it's best to view it on desktop version.
My package was shipped the following day and arrived in 15 days with registered shipping. It came in a small box that has enough room to fit three sets inside.
My one set was surrounded by one layer of bubble wrap and then the remaining room was filled with a bundle of bubble wrap, so it was overall very well secured and my set arrived in perfect condition.
This is the order of the 10 packs I got (left: Sunggyu to Myungsoo (top to bottom); right: Hoya to Myungsoo (top to bottom)). I was really surprised that I didn't get any Sungyeol packs (and not just because I get Sungyeol the most often); I always thought every set should come with one of each member, and then three duplicates. Though I already completed my normals, I'm so excited to see the 10 rare cards! Maybe today will be the day I pull a Myungsoo card...
Here are all the cards I got, in the order they came in inside their respective packets, so some of the cards are upside down. This set is such a great collection; I can't believe my luck has come again. The last Infinite item I got was the limited Reality album, where I got two Sunggyu photocards and two Sungyeol event cards. And now I got an extra rare card in one of the packs, for a total of 11 rares! And...I pulled TWO Myungsoo rares, this is a HUGE moment for me! And it's a Myungsoo scratch card, wow. I was surprised to have only pulled one Sunggyu normal as well.

And now some of my random observations~
For one of my normal cards, the machine had cut it incorrectly. In the left photo, you can see the red line on the left where the end of the card should be and on the right you can see how half of the card number information is cut off.
Something else I noticed as I was laying out my cards, the backside of # 091 and the front side of #098 use the same exact image of Hoya (though the colors are slightly different), whereas the other members' cards for these same types of cards are different.

In all, these cards are really addicting and getting this box is making me want to finish my rare collection...but I have invested way too much into this and should really stop myself.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Infinite: Reality 5th Mini Album (Limited) Review

After almost one full year, Infinite has finally come back as a whole with their fifth mini album, Reality on July 13th, 2015! This is the first time Woollim has released two versions of a Korean album, a limited version (which sold out pretty quickly) and a normal version. I wrote about the normal version here.
I ordered a limited version from for ~$15 and after shipping it was ~$27. It arrived in 16 days to the US, in a box much bigger than the actual album so the box was dented inward, but it was still well packaged. Ktown4u also gives out free folded posters, so mine came underneath my album with several layers of bubblewrap around them. They also threw in a nice little photocard of Myungsoo^^
My album came with one of three exterior poster designs. Two of the poster designs are the main group promotional photos and the third is a photo from the photobook.  The poster is of high quality and made of thick paper and is huge, the size of Infinite's newer album exterior posters (53cm by 77cm).
Infinite's Korean albums have always had the same dimensions (repackaged are the same squares and all else are the same rectangles), but they've changed it up by releasing an A4 sized album for the limited version! I love how sturdy the packaging is; it survived shipping very well, coming out with practically no dents. I'm especially relieved because my She's Back limited edition, also A4 sized, came completely damaged due to the fragility and large size. It is 8.375 inches by 11.875 inches by 1.25 inches.
The exterior packaging is a matte black box that is very prone to fingerprints and grease. The gorgeous Infinite logo and lettering have a glossy finish.
The backside is simple as well.
The exterior packaging is a slipcase where its contents come out of the left side. This edition includes the CD holder on top with the photobook underneath.
This CD holder is really nice quality. It's a hardcover that is also prone to greasy fingerprints. The cover has a nice black-and-white photo of Infinite.
Inside, there are two folded pieces of paper.
Here is the front side of both pieces of paper.
Here is the other side of the pieces of paper.
The black piece of paper contains the album information. Here, the backside shows the album credits.
Opening up the paper once reveals this photo of Infinite.
Opening up the paper fully reveals the song credits and lyrics of all seven tracks. At the bottom are the members' thanks to.
The white piece of paper is the folded poster that comes with the limited edition. It has a nice matte finish and is of high quality. The dimensions are 30.75 inches by 21 inches, bigger than Infinite's usual promotional posters!
Underneath both pieces of paper is the CD, which is held in place by a sturdy foam circle and is secured in a deep foam padding. I really like this packaging, because overall it is very sturdy and the foam and hardcover protect the CD very well.
The photobook is paperback and has a simplistic cover with a reflective metallic rectangle (it's really silver, but it's reflecting the yellow in my room).
The backside is simplistic as well.
This photobook is huge, containing 150 pages. Majority of the photos are Infinite just being themselves and goofing off, matching the album title Reality. The A4 size and concept remind me of Infinite's Japanese limited release of She's Back, which also comes with an A4 sized photobook of photos of Infinite enjoying themselves on vacation.

I can't get over this photo of's so mind-boggling.

And then there are nice shots of the boys being chummy. This reminds me of photos from the IDEA photobook (like the one of Woohyun and Myungsoo on the bridge at night).

There are a few spreads that include a quote and a group photo. This one is from the last section of the photobook.
The last few pages include a more formal photoshoot for the album, with Infinite in dark suits and serious expressions.
All the pages on the left have the page number and album title on the top left corner, while the pages on the right have "INFINITE" and "THE 5th MINI" printed on the top left corner.
Inside one of the pages of the photobook are the photocard and event card. It was kind of hard for me to find...just flip through the pages and eventually you'll find it~ Lo and behold, I had two photocards and two event cards in my album! I think the machine accidentally put two instead of one. I've never had luck pulling my bias Myungsoo, but today I definitely felt lucky by pulling two of each goody.
Here are the front side of my Sunggyu photocard and Sungyeol event card. There is one photocard per member. As for the event card, this is only included in the first press edition of the limited and normal albums. It is a lottery ticket for a "real date" with that member. However, there are also seven gold cards, one per member, within the albums that is a free pass and the owner promptly wins that member's real date. And I just found out that actually each member will have two dates, one with the owner of the gold card, and one from the lottery. These event cards are flimsier paper than the photocard but still sturdy and have a perforation to tear apart the photo and the application form.
Here are the backside of both cards. All photocard backs are the same while the event cards has that member's name printed on the back of the application form.

You can see the backside lettering is a bit reflective in the light.
As difficult as it was, I tore one of my applications apart to give to my friend to use. As much as I love keeping all my Infinite goods, I'll just think of how I was able to help my friend participate in such an event. I just kept folding at the perforation until it became weak and easy to tear apart without damage.
The photocard is the same size as that of Paradise and Season 2, and a little smaller than all their other photocards.
The Sunggyu card is similar to a photo from the photobook. In the photobook, you can see Sungyeol and Hoya goofing off in the background, and in the photocard, you can see the tip of Hoya's shoe!
The Sungyeol event card is the same photo as in the photobook. It's hilarious seeing Dongwoo in the foreground^^

Overall, this is such a gorgeous album and it came at a reasonable price. At first I was upset that Woollim released a limited edition Korean album for the first time, but now I'm so happy about it. In the future I'll get the normal version as well and review that.